Lifetime bronze benefactor
I took my buff and ele with a .416 Ruger. I agree that .375 is good but a bit more gun for buff is better.THREE SEVEN FIVE.....THREE SEVEN FIVE.....THREE SEVEN FIVE. That's all I hear about these days! And for very good reason! It's the most versatile rifle a man could carry in Africa, and around the world, for that matter. It can't be beat for a pure do it all, big and small, type of weapon.
But, for those of us that spend our days dreaming of hunting large, tank like beasts, there is cause to think of something larger. As in something over 40. Which also reads.....450/400, 404 Jeffery, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem Mag, 416 Ruger, and if you must, 416 Weatherby.
Pure Buffalo rifles, if you will. No one can muster up much of an argument that more is needed for anything other than Elephant, and even then, one could make a strong argument for the 40 something crowd. With their high SD bullets, and relatively flat trajectory, there's not much that can't be accomplished with a 40 something.
Sure, a 458 or larger may hit harder, but they also hit harder on both ends. It is said that 2300-2400 FPS is the magic velocity at which the best penetration takes place on large animals, so if a 500 grain or heavier bullet is pushed at those speeds, the recoil begins to push above what most mortals can handle. It takes major practice, and concentration to shoot these rifles well.
This leads us right back to our 40's. A 400 grain,.410-.423 caliber bullet, at a velocity of around 2200-2400 FPS is amazingly effective on large, dangerous animals, while maintaining a recoil level that most people can handle with practice. It also boasts a SD of around .330, so penetration is off the charts, as well as having a trajectory that makes longish shots feasible. What more could one ask for?
Fourty something rifles come in all shapes and sizes. From double rifles, to custom built Mauser style safari rifles, to affordable production arms. All levels of income can be accommodated. One can take a rather inexpensive Ruger M77 in 416 Rigby, or 416 Ruger, and hunt any large game the world has to offer. However, if you wish to hunt with a little more gusto, the Heym Express Martini in 404 Jeffery and 416 Rigby, or any number of other custom or semi custom, double rifles or bolt guns might just fit the bill. You can spend hundreds, or thousands on a rifle, it's all up to your sensibilities. But, either way, if it's in the 40 something crowd, you will be well and truly armed, if you make sure to work any possible bugs out before the hunt.
In the end, the good ole THREE SEVEN FIVE might hold the title of King Or Queen Of Africa, (you decide which one). But for those that want just a little more, welcome to your 40's. It's all down hill from here.
I agree with much of what you’ve presented here. Great discussion!